Free Brain Health Expo on March 16 at Samuel Merritt University

Free Brain Health Expo on March 16 at Samuel Merritt University

(Oakland, Calif.) — Samuel Merritt University (SMU) will host a free Brain Health Expo —“Get to Know Your Brain!” — that is open to the public on Saturday, March 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The expo, which includes hands-on interactive activities and invited guest speakers, will take place on the SMU campus at the Health Education Center, located at 400 Hawthorne Ave. in Oakland. 

Visitors to the Brain Health Expo will learn how to keep their brains healthy through diet, exercise and stress management. Guest speakers will discuss stress management techniques, brain injury prevention, and ways to improve memory. The educational event will also include interactive hands-on activities for children and adults to explore the power of the human brain, including an anatomy station where visitors can view and examine specimens of the brain and spinal cord.

The expo is part of the Brain Awareness Program at Samuel Merritt University developed by Barb Puder, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Basic Sciences, to increase the public’s awareness about the human body’s most complex organ and promote brain health.

"Our goal is to educate, engage and inspire people of all ages about the amazing brain and how it plays an important role in everything we do," said Dr. Puder. "Students, teachers and community members can learn how to prevent unnecessary brain injury and make lifestyle choices that promote brain health."

Guest speakers at the expo include:
•    Mike DeRosa, PhD, chair of the Physician Assistant Department at Samuel Merritt University. He will speak on “Preventing Traumatic Brain Injury” at 12:15 p.m.
•    Frank Staggers Jr. M.D. practices addiction medicine and stress management, and currently serves as the director of the Berkeley Addiction Treatment Services Center and as associate project director of a major heart and health study at the Ethnic Health Institute of Alta Bates Summit Medical Center. He will discuss “The Effects of Stress and Stress Reduction on the Body” at 2 p.m.
•    Barb Puder, PhD, teaches medical neuroscience at Samuel Merritt University and develops neuroscience community outreach programs.  She will introduce the event at 10 a.m.   
•    Guy McCormack, PhD, is a professor in the Occupational Therapy Department at Samuel Merritt University.  His research involves using neurofeedback to improve attention and social responsiveness in autistic children, as well as promoting neuroplasticity in adults. He will speak on “Ways to Improve Your Memory” at 10:30 a.m.

For questions about the event, please contact:
Dr. Barb Puder, Samuel Merritt University
510-869-6511, ext. 4876

For more information on Dr. Barb Puder and Brain Awareness Outreach, go to:




Samuel Merritt University has been educating health science practitioners who are committed to making a positive difference in diverse communities since 1909.  The University offers an undergraduate degree in nursing; master's degrees in nursing, occupational therapy, and physician assistant; and doctoral degrees in nursing, physical therapy and podiatric medicine.  For more information visit

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